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Elizabethan Playwrights - the other ones

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message 1: by David (last edited Sep 10, 2012 10:29AM) (new)

David Krae (davidkrae) William Shakespeare is certainly the most celebrated and thus well-known playwright from the Elizabethan/Jacobean era, but as Shakespeare Fans should we also include a nod to Shakespeare's literary contemporaries like Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, Thomas Middleton, Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher.

Here's an interesting resource on Elizabethan playwrights and Elizabethan living as well.

message 2: by Brant (new)

Brant | 2 comments Those interested in this topic may also want to check out Shakespeare & Co. Shakespeare and Co. Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher and the Other Players in His Story by Stanley W. Wells by Stanley Wells Stanley W. Wells

message 3: by Bryn (last edited Sep 11, 2012 01:36PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 170 comments I was heavily into Jacobean tragedy. Mostly: The Changeling, Women Beware Women (both Middleton), The Revenger's Tragedy (attributed to either Middleton or Tourneur), the works of John Webster, 'revenge tragedy' by whomever.

message 4: by Chris (last edited May 31, 2013 07:46AM) (new)

Chris Hapka (chapka) | 10 comments The Globe Quartos published a number of interesting non-Shakespeare plays, although they seem to have stopped.

And for anyone interested, The Life and Death of Jack Straw is an interesting anonymous play from just before Shakespeare's time that I recently edited and published (the first in a series of non-Shakespeare early English drama).

message 5: by Bill (new)

Bill | 1 comments Ben Jonson, Kit Marlowe and Thomas Middleton were at their time often considered at least the equal of the Bard of Stratford Upon Avon. Cyril Tourneur, at least in my mind was a cut beneath the aforementioned writers and I feel Middleton wrote The Revenger's Tragedy. I was in a production of Edmund Ironside, a hotly debated play, which some attribute to Shakespeare.

message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Collis | 2 comments (Please file under shameless self promotion.)
I'd like to add another playwright to this list: Henry Greville.
He's a fictional invention of mine, a young actor and writer whose first effort is hijacked by a desperate Shakespeare and presented as 'Macbeth'.
Revenge and mayhem follow, ensuring the unfortunate reputation that dogs the play to this very day.
For more details, you can investigate 'The Scottish Movie' here on Goodreads.
Thank you for your time and patience.
The Scottish Movie by Paul Collis
The Scottish Movie

message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris Hapka (chapka) | 10 comments In the slightly less shameful self-promotion department...I'm currently working on a complete listing of extant English plays written or published before 1700.

It's currently nowhere near complete (especially after the letter "L" or so) and not 100% accurate--for example, it doesn't always distinguish between "written by" and "sometimes falsely attributed to".

Still, if you're interested, just browse over to and click on "The Groundling List."

message 8: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (beezye) | 2 comments Chris - I have a couple lists myself... one place to check out is the database of "missing" or "lost" plays ( It's also incomplete, but very useful for scholars (like me) who are trying to slog their way through what's what. I'm working on a history play project, which limits the number I have to grapple with significantly, and many of them are no longer extant.

I'm glad someone is working on it, and if you need assistance, let me know!


message 9: by Chris (new)

Chris Hapka (chapka) | 10 comments Kristin wrote: "Chris - I have a couple lists myself... one place to check out is the database of "missing" or "lost" plays ( It's also incomplete, but very useful for..."

Thanks; I've actually used the "lost plays" site a few times already.

Right now I'm just trying to get a couple of the standard reference works integrated into one database (starting with Greg's "List of English Plays" and the 1860 "Dictionary of Old English Plays," then I'll continue researching to documents individual plays and playwrights, include modern authorship scholarship, information on extant editions and manuscripts, performance dates, etc. There's actually more information in the database than is displayed by the current PHP scripts.

message 10: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (beezye) | 2 comments Don't forget Henslowe!

message 11: by Kristen (new)

Kristen McDermott (krismcd) | 1 comments Ben Jonson is my guy -- did my dissertation and most of my academic publications on him -- and the cool thing about his work is that new discoveries are still being made. A recent one -- an account of his famous walk to Scotland in 1617 -- has inspired one scholar to recreate his walk beginning next month. Follow his progress here:

message 12: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2730 comments Mod
I love this topic! I'd love to hear some more about what you really like about Ben Jonson's, stye, intents his content...?what are the revenge stories like Bryn? What devices do the stories use? Is there a subtext? I'm very curious about this stuff..and would love a recommendations or two...

message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris Hapka (chapka) | 10 comments Speaking of Jonson, has anyone out there read/seen The Magnetic Lady? Reactions/impressions?

message 14: by Julia (new)

Julia | 16 comments When I was an undergraduate a very, very long time ago, I came across Aphra Behn a contemporary of Shakespeare's who was a woman playwright! I have never seen any of her plays produced... Look at Oroonoko the Royal Slave Easyread Comfort Edition and WORKS OF APHRA BEHN: VOLUME I, POEMS.

message 15: by Chris (new)

Chris Hapka (chapka) | 10 comments Aphra Behn wasn't just a playwright, she was a novelist (Oroonoko was an early novel, not a play), world traveler, English intelligence agent and political activist. "The Rover" gets performed sometimes, her other plays almost never.

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